CHICAGO -- Chicago Bears coach Marc Trestman could point to positives and negatives when it came to his team's offense against the San Diego Chargers on Thursday, but he had nothing but good things to say about the play of the Bears' defensive line.
The Bears held the Chargers’ first-team offense and quarterback Philip Rivers scoreless on four possessions over a little more than a quarter, thanks greatly to their defensive line.
“I thought there’s a competition up front defensively,” Trestman said after Chicago's 33-28 win at Soldier Field. “Again, good pass rush. Shea [McClellin] was involved. Corey [Wootton] was involved. Nate [Collins] was involved. And that’s a good thing.”
McClellin led the way on the Bears’ first stop of the Chargers’ offense. On a first-down play, McClellin tackled Chargers running back Ryan Mathews for a 1-yard loss. Facing long yardage, San Diego went to the air on the next two downs, but Rivers threw back-to-back incompletions.
On the Chargers’ next possession, Wootton stepped up. Wootton blew past San Diego right tackle D.J. Fluker on the inside and slammed Rivers to the ground for a sack. Wootton celebrated with a robot dance. Facing third-and-14, Rivers threw an interception on the following play.
McClellin emerged again on the Chargers’ third possession. He got past left tackle Max Starks and nailed Rivers from behind. The hit caused Rivers to fumble the ball, and the Bears recovered it.
The Bears again kept the heat on Rivers on the Chargers’ fourth offensive possession. On third-and-6 from the Bears’ 39-yard line, which is as close as Rivers got to Chicago's end zone, Collins ended Rivers' day by dropping him one final time for a sack.
McClellin, Wootton and Collins combined for 10 tackles, three sacks, three tackles for loss, two quarterback hits and one forced fumble.
With those numbers, it’s no wonder Trestman was so happy.